Due to shared transmission routes, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is highly prevalent among people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is associated with hepatotoxicity, leading to the negative effects on patients with HIV/HCV co-infection. In order to provide valuable information for HCV management in this particular population, we investigated the HCV genotypes in HIV-infected individuals from Henan and Guangxi, the two provinces with the most HIV-infected cases in China.
Individuals, who acquired HIV infection through various risk routes, were recruited from Henan and Guangxi. Test of antibodies against HCV (anti-HCV) was conducted, and detection of HCV RNA was performed by PCR amplification. HCV subtypes were determined by direct sequencing of amplicons, followed by phylogenetic analysis.
We recruited a total of 1,112 HIV-infected people in this present study. Anti-HCV was detected from 218 (50.1%) patients from Henan and 81 (12.0%) patients from Guangxi, respectively. The highest prevalence of HIV/HCV co-infection was observed from FBDs (former blood donors) (87.2%) in Henan and IDUs (intravenous drug users) (81.8%) in Guangxi, respectively. The seroprevalence rate of HCV among people with sexual contact was significantly higher in Henan than in Guangxi (18.7% vs. 3.5%, P<0.05). The positive rate of HCV RNA in Henan and Guangxi was 30.6% (133/435) and 11.2% (76/677), respectively. Moreover, we found that 20 anti-HCV negative samples were HCV positive by PCR amplification. HCV subtype 1b (52.7%) was predominant in Henan, followed by subtype 2a (41.9%). The most frequently detected subtypes in Guangxi were 6a (35.6%) and 3b (32.9%).
The HCV genotype distributions were different in HIV-infected people from Henan and Guangxi. HIV/HCV co-infection was not only linked to the transmission routes, but also associated with the geographic position.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an RNA virus which has been known to cause acute and chronic necro-inflammatory disease of the liver. It is the leading cause of end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. HIV is known to have a negative impact on the natural disease outcome and immune response of HCV infection, whereas the reverse remains unclear. We evaluated the impact of HCV co-infection on recovery of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and liver enzyme levels before and after initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in HIV/HCV co-infected patients.
A hospital-based, observational, prospective cohort study design was used for this study. Pre-antiretroviral treatment (Pre-ART) and under HAART HIV mono-infected and HCV/HIV co-infected individuals who are under regular follow-up were recruited for this study. 387 blood samples were collected from volunteer, known HIV positive Ethiopian patients and screened for HCV. Twenty five HCV/HIV co-infected patients were prospectively followed for four years. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and liver enzyme levels were determined annually for each of the participant.
The prevalence of HCV/HIV co-infection in this study was 6.5%. Both HCV/HIV co-infected and HIV mono-infected under HAART groups showed CD4+ recovery (343 Vs 426; P < 0.004, OR = 4.97, 95% CI = 2.41 to 10.27) respectively; but, the recovery rate was higher in mono-infected (80 Vs 426) than co-infected group (148 Vs 343). The recovery and/or decline pattern of CD8+ T-cells was the same with that of CD4+. In 75% of co-infected groups, the mean alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were above the upper limit of normal reference range. Analyses restricted to individuals who initiated HAART and pre-ART showed similar results.
We found that CD4+ T-cell recovery was negatively affected by the presence of ongoing HCV replication in under HAART co-infected individuals and fast decline of CD4+ T-cells in pre-ART patients. It was also associated with increased ALT and AST enzyme levels in both HAART initiated and treatment naïve co-infected patients.
Immunological; HCV/HIV co-infection; Pre-ART; HAART; CD4+; CD8+; GOT; GPT; Alkaline phosphatase
Immune activation is a hallmark of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection and impacts innate and adaptive immunity. Individuals coinfected with HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus (HCV) may have increased immune activation early in HIV disease because of a high HCV antigen load in tissues such as the liver. We evaluated T cell markers of activation and maturation in women with or without HIV-1 infection, by HCV antibody and HCV RNA status. We found increased percentages of activated CD8+ T cells (i.e., CD8+HLA-DR+38+ cells and CD8+CD28+HLA-DR+ cells) but not of CD4+ T cells among women who tested positive for HIV-1, HCV antibody, and HCV RNA, compared with HIV-1–positive women who tested negative for HCV antibody. Because CD8+T cell activation is related to HIV-1 disease progression, these data may have implications for the medical management of patients coinfected with HIV-1 and HCV.
Individuals with HIV infection exhibit high cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgG levels, but there are few data regarding the association of hepatitis C virus (HCV) with the immune response against CMV.
Associations of HCV with CMV seropositivity and CMV IgG levels were studied in 635 HIV-infected women, 187 of whom were HCV-seropositive, with adjustment in multivariable models for age, race/ethnicity, and HIV disease characteristics. Eighty one percent of the women reported receipt of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) prior to or at CMV testing.
In adjusted models women with chronic HCV had higher CMV IgG levels than those without HCV RNA (β = 2.86, 95% CI:0.89 – 4.83; P = 0.004). The association of HCV RNA with CMV IgG differed by age (Pinteraction = 0.0007), with a strong association observed among women in the low and middle age tertiles (≤45.3 years of age; β = 6.21, 95% CI:3.30 – 9.11, P<0.0001) but not among women in the high age tertile. CMV IgG levels were not associated with non-invasive measures of liver disease, APRI and FIB-4, or with HCV RNA level and adjustment for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) IgG levels did not affect the association between HCV and CMV.
CMV IgG levels are higher in HCV/HIV co-infected women than in HIV mono-infected women. Further research on the association of HCV with CMV IgG is indicated because prior studies have found CMV IgG to be associated with morbidity and mortality in the general population and subclinical carotid artery disease in HIV-infected patients.
Background.Inflammation persists in treated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and may contribute to an increased risk for non–AIDS-related pathologies. We investigated the correlation of cytokine responses with changes in CD4 T-cell levels and coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) during highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART).
Methods.A total of 383 participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (212 with HIV monoinfection, 56 with HCV monoinfection, and 115 with HIV/HCV coinfection) were studied. HIV-infected women had <1000 HIV RNA copies/mL, 99.7% had >200 CD4 T cells/μL; 98% were receiving HAART at baseline. Changes in CD4 T-cell count between baseline and 2–4 years later were calculated. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained at baseline were used to measure interleukin 1β (IL-1β), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 10 (IL-10), interleukin 12 (IL-12), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) responses to Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 and TLR4 stimulation.
Results.Undetectable HIV RNA (<80 copies/mL) at baseline and secretion of IL-10 by PBMCs were positively associated with gains in CD4 T-cell counts at follow-up. Inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α) were also produced in TLR-stimulated cultures, but only IL-10 was significantly associated with sustained increases in CD4 T-cell levels. This association was significant only in women with HIV monoinfection, indicating that HCV coinfection is an important factor limiting gains in CD4 T-cell counts, possibly by contributing to unbalanced persistent inflammation.
Conclusions.Secreted IL-10 from PBMCs may balance the inflammatory environment of HIV, resulting in CD4 T-cell stability.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been reported to replicate in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), particularly in patients coinfected with HCV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, there are limited data regarding the prevalence of and the factors associated with extrahepatic replication.
The presence of negative-strand HCV RNA in PBMCs was evaluated by a strand-specific assay for 144 anti-HCV–positive/HIV-infected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. One to 5 PBMC samples obtained from each woman were tested. Multivariate analyses were used to assess for associations with the clinical and demographic characteristics of the women.
Negative-strand HCV RNA was detected in 78 (25%) of 315 specimens, and, for 61 women (42%), ≥1 specimen was found to have positive results. The presence of negative-strand HCV RNA in PBMCs was significantly positively associated with an HCV RNA plasma level of ≥6.75 log copies/mL (P =.04) and consumption of ≥7 alcoholic drinks per week (P =.02). It was also negatively associated with injection drug use occurring in the past 6 months (P =.03). A negative association with a CD4+CD38+DR+ cell percentage of >10% and a positive association with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome were borderline significant (P =.05).
HCV replication in PBMCs is common among HIV-coinfected women and appears to be a dynamic process related to lifestyle, virologic, and immunologic factors.
In order to study the effect of increased CD4 cell counts on the biology of hepatitis C virus (HCV), we analyzed the genetic variability of HCV generated over 8 y in eight human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) and HCV co-infected patients. This was a retrospective study in which HIV patients were selected who had profound immune impairment evident over four years and were co-infected with HCV genotype 1 and who then went on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). These patients achieved different degrees of immune reconstitution, measured as increased CD4 cell counts during a 4- to 8-y period, following initiation of HAART. HCV genetic variability was determined by measuring the genetic diversity (Hamming distance, HD), and complexity (number of viral variants) in plasma samples collected at yearly intervals just before and after the initiation of HAART. The parameters were assessed by molecular cloning and sequencing of a 575-bp fragment including the HCV envelope 1 and envelope 2 genes (E1/E2), containing the hypervariable region 1 (HVR1). significantly increased HVR1 genetic diversity was observed in analyzed samples where the patients’ CD4 cell counts were ≥100 compared with CD4 cell counts <100. A significant increase in genetic diversity in HVR1 was detected in co-infected patients whose CD4 cell counts increased from <100 to >400 over a period of more than 4 y of HAART therapy. This was in contrast to a minimal increase in HCV genetic diversity of HVR1 occurring in patients whose CD4 cell counts failed to rise much over 200 over 7 y of follow up. Insertion and deletion of HCV genomic fragments in the E1/E2 region was documented in one patient who developed fulminant hepatitis C.
genetic variability of HCV; HVR1; CD4 cell counts; HIV/HCV
Background and aims
Patients with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection are at increased risk of developing hepatic steatosis. The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of steatosis in a cohort with HIV-HCV coinfection, and to determine an association, if any, between steatosis, antiretroviral therapy (ART), and advanced hepatic fibrosis.
Patients and methods
HIV-HCV coinfected patients were retrospectively identified from the HIV clinic. ART was classified as none, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) only, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) only, and sequential therapy (initial NRTIs followed by HAART). Fibrosis stage and necroinflammation grade were assessed by the modified HAI (Ishak) scoring method. Steatosis was graded as 0–3.
Sixty patients were identified. The overall prevalence of hepatic steatosis was 58%. Those that received HAART only had a lower prevalence of steatosis (41%) compared to those on NRTIs only (70%) or sequential therapy (82%). Independent predictors of hepatic steatosis were absence of HAART only therapy, OR 2.9, p = 0.09, and presence of cirrhosis, OR 4.6, p = 0.044. Forty five percent of the patients had advanced fibrosis (fibrosis stage ≥ 3). NI grade (OR 1.9, p = 0.030), and steatosis grade (OR 3.6, p = 0.045), were independent predictors of advanced fibrosis.
Hepatic steatosis is associated with more advanced hepatic fibrosis in the HIV-HCV coinfected population. HAART only therapy (rather than NRTIs only or sequential therapy) appears to be associated with a lower prevalence of hepatic steatosis. This may be one of the mechanisms by which HAART could attenuate hepatic fibrosis in such a cohort.
This study analyzes the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and thus immunologic status, on hepatitis C virus (HCV) load and quasispecies diversity in patients coinfected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HCV. Three cohorts of coinfected patients were analyzed retrospectively over a period of 7 to 10 months: group A was antiretroviral drug naïve at baseline and then on HAART for the remainder of the study, group B did not receive antiretroviral therapy at any point, and group C was on HAART for the entire study. HCV quasispecies diversity was analyzed by sequencing hypervariable region 1. In a longitudinal analysis, there was no significant change from baseline in any immunologic, virologic, or quasispecies parameter in any of the three groups. However, in comparison to groups A and B, group C had significantly higher CD4+- and CD8+-cell counts, a trend toward a higher HCV load, and significantly increased number of HCV clones, entropy, genetic distance, and ratio of nonsynonymous substitutions per nonsynonymous site to synonymous substitutions per synonymous site (Ka/Ks). In addition, CD4+-cell count was positively correlated with HCV load, genetic distance, and Ka. Interestingly, patients infected with HCV genotype 2 or 3 had a significantly higher CD4+-cell count, HCV load, genetic distance, and Ka/Ks than those infected with genotype 1. These results suggest that there is no immediate effect of HAART on HCV but that, with prolonged HAART, immune restoration results in an increase in HCV load and quasispecies diversity.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a frequent copathogen with HIV. Both viruses appear to replicate in the brain and both are implicated in neurocognitive and peripheral neuropathy syndromes. Interaction of the viruses is likely to be complicated and better understanding of the contributions of each virus will be necessary to make evidence-based therapeutic decisions.
This study was designed to determine if active HCV infection, identified by quantitative HCV RNA determination, is associated with increased neurocognitive deficits or excess development of distal sensory peripheral neuropathy in HIV coinfected patients with stable HIV viral suppression. The AIDS Clinical Trials Group Longitudinal Linked Randomized Trials (ALLRT) study was the source of subjects with known HIV treatment status, neurocognitive and neuropathy evaluations, and HCV status. Subjects were selected based on HCV antibody status (249 positive; 310 negative).
HCV RNA viral loads were detectable in 172 participants with controlled HIV infection and available neurologic evaluations in the ALLRT. These participants were compared with 345 participants with undetectable HCV viral load and the same inclusion criteria from the same cohort. Neurocognitive performance measured by Trail-Making A or B and digit symbol testing was not dissimilar between the 2 groups. In addition, there was no significant association between active HCV replication and distal sensory neuropathy.
Clinically significant neurocognitive dysfunction and peripheral neuropathy were not exacerbated by active hepatitis C virus infection in the setting of optimally treated HIV infection.
= AIDS Clinical Trials Group Longitudinal Linked Randomized Trials;
= confidence interval;
= highly active antiretroviral therapy;
= hepatitis C virus;
= injection drug use;
= viral load;
= Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Revised.
Because activation of T cells is associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pathogenesis, CD4 and CD8 activation levels in patients coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) may explain conflicting reports regarding effects of HCV on HIV disease progression.
Kaplan-Meier and multivariate Cox regression models were used to study the risk of incident clinical AIDS and AIDS-related deaths among 813 HCV-negative women with HIV infection, 87 HCV-positive nonviremic women with HIV coinfection, and 407 HCV-positive viremic women with HIV coinfection (median follow-up time, 5.2 years). For 592 women, the percentages of activated CD4 and CD8 T cells expressing HLA-DR (DR) and/or CD38 were evaluated.
HCV-positive viremic women had a statistically significantly higher percentage of activated CD8 T cells (P < .001) and a statistically significantly higher incidence of AIDS compared with HCV-negative women (P < .001 [log-rank test]). The AIDS risk was greater among HCV-positive viremic women in the highest tertile compared with the lowest tertile (>43% vs <26%) of CD8+CD38+DR+ T cells (hazard ratio, 2.94 [95% confidence interval, 1.50–5.77]; P =.001). This difference was not observed in the HCV-negative women (hazard ratio, 1.87 [95% confidence interval, 0.80–4.35]; P =.16). In contrast, CD4 activation predicted AIDS in both groups similarly. Increased percentages of CD8+CD38−DR+, CD4+CD38−DR−, and CD8+CD38−DR− T cells were associated with a >60% decreased risk of AIDS for HCV-positive viremic women and HCV-negative women.
HCV-positive viremic women with HIV coinfection who have high levels of T cell activation may have increased risk of AIDS. Earlier treatment of HIV and HCV infection may be beneficial.
AIM: To determine the rates and impact of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections on response to long-term highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in a large human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) population in Nigeria.
METHODS: HBV and HCV as well as HIV infections are endemic in sub Saharan Africa. This was a retrospective cohort study of 19 408 adults who were recruited between June 2004 and December 2010 in the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria in Nigeria programme at Jos University Teaching Hospital. Serological assays, including HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis C antibody were used to categorise hepatitis status of the patients. HBsAg was determined using enzyme immunoassay (EIA) (Monolisa HBsAg Ultra3; Bio-Rad). HCV antibody was tested using third generation EIA (DIA.PRO Diagnostic, Bioprobes srl, Milan, Italy). HIV RNA levels were measured using Roche COBAS Amplicor HIV-1 monitor test version 1.5 (Roche Diagnostics, GmbH, Mannheim, Germany) with a detection limit of 400 copies/mL. Flow cytometry was used to determine CD4+ cell count (Partec, GmbH Munster, Germany). Comparison of categorical and continuous variables were achieved using Pearson’s χ2 and Kruskal Wallis tests respectively, on MedCalc for Windows, version 126.96.36.199 (MedCalc Software, Mariakerke, Belgium).
RESULTS: With an overall hepatitis screening rate of over 90% for each virus; HBV, HCV and HBV/HCV were detected in 3162 (17.8%), 1983 (11.3%) and 453 (2.5%) HIV infected adults respectively. The rate of liver disease was low, but highest among HIV mono-infected patients (29, 0.11%), followed by HBV co-infected patients (15, 0.08%). Patients with HBV co-infection and triple infection had higher log10 HIV RNA loads (HBV: 4.6 copies/mL vs HIV only: 4.5 copies/mL, P < 0.0001) and more severe immune suppression (HBV: 645, 55.4%; HBV/HCV: 97, 56.7%) prior to initiation of HAART compared to HIV mono-infected patients (1852, 48.6%) (P < 0.0001). Of 3025 patients who were 4.4 years on HAART and whose CD4 cell counts results at baseline and end of follow up were available for analyses, CD4 increase was significantly lower in those with HBV co-infection (HBV: 144 cells/mm3; HBV/HCV: 105 cells/mm3) than in those with HCV co-infection (165 cells/mm3) and HIV mono-infection (150 cells/mm3) (P = 0.0008).
CONCLUSION: High rates of HBV and HCV infections were found in this HIV cohort. CD4 recovery was significantly diminished in patients with HBV co-infection.
Human immunodeficiency virus; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Africa; Liver disease
Objective. The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiology of coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV among a cohort of pregnant Thai women. Methods. Samples from 1771 pregnant women enrolled in three vertical transmission of HIV studies in Bangkok, Thailand, were tested for HCV.
Results. Among HIV-infected pregnant women, HCV seroprevelance was 3.8% and the active HCV infection rate was 3.0%. Among HIV-uninfected pregnant women, 0.3% were HCV-infected. Intravenous drug use by the woman was the factor most strongly associated with HCV seropositivity. Among 48 infants tested for HCV who were born to HIV/HCV coinfected women, two infants were HCV infected for an HCV transmission rate of 4.2% (95% 0.51–14.25%).
Conclusions. HCV seroprevalence and perinatal transmission rates were low among this Thai cohort of HIV-infected pregnant women.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)–infected women—in particular, those coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)—can transmit infection to their children and sex partners.
The present study was conducted to analyze the presence of HCV RNA in cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) fluid from 71 women (58 HCV/HIV-1–coinfected women and 13 HCV-infected, HIV-1–uninfected women) enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study.
HCV RNA was detected (by a commercial polymerase chain reaction assay) in CVL fluid from 18 (29%) of the HIV-1–infected women and from none of the HIV-1–uninfected women (P < .05). Multivariate analysis revealed that risk factors for the presence of HCV RNA in CVL fluid were HCV viremia (odds ratio [OR], 16.81; P = .02) and HIV-1 RNA in CVL fluid (OR, 19.87; P = .02). This observation suggests local interactions between HIV-1 and HCV in the genital tract compartment. There was no correlation between HCV RNA in CVL fluid and CD4, CD8, or CD3 cell counts, HIV-1 RNA viremia, the number of leukocytes in CVL fluid, or HIV-1 therapy. Furthermore, in 3 of 5 analyzed patients who had a detectable CVL HCV RNA load, we found viral variants differing in the 5′ untranslated region that were present neither in plasma nor in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells.
Our observations point to the importance of the genital tract compartment, in which local HCV replication could be facilitated by local HIV-1 replication.
Although the primary mode of hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission is exposure to blood products or injection drug use (IDU), studies have found varying independent risk factors for HCV infection among persons with no history of IDU or exposure to blood products. For HIV-infected women, sexual transmission may be another potential source of HCV infection. HIV-infected and HIV-negative women at risk for HIV enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) during October 1994 to November 1995 and again between October 2001 and November 2002 were studied. Clinical and demographic factors associated with HCV seroprevalence were assessed in multivariate logistic regression models controlling for history of blood transfusion and IDU. Among 3636 women with HCV results, 31.5% were HCV antibody positive (HCV+) including 13.5% with no reported history of IDU or blood transfusions. Multivariate logistic regression analyses stratified on IDU showed that among women with no history of IDU, sex with an IDU male was independently associated with HCV positivity (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8, 95% confidence [CI] = 2.1, 3.8, p < 0.0001) after controlling for blood transfusion, age, HIV infection, unemployment, birth in the United States, history of hepatitis B infection, and current smoking status. Further stratification on HIV status showed that the association was significant only for the HIV+ (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.3, 2.7, p = 0.0007) compared to the HIV− women (OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.4, 2.7) although these odds ratios were not significantly different ( p = 0.25). For HIV-positive women with no reported history of IDU, sex with an IDU male was independently associated with HCV suggesting that sexual transmission may be an important mode of HCV transmission for these high-risk women.
Although the primary mode of hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission is exposure to blood products or injection drug use (IDU), studies have found varying independent risk factors for HCV infection among persons with no history of IDU or exposure to blood products. For HIV-infected women, sexual transmission may be another potential source of HCV infection. HIV-infected and HIV-negative women at risk for HIV enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) during October 1994 to November 1995 and again between October 2001 and November 2002 were studied. Clinical and demographic factors associated with HCV seroprevalence were assessed in multivariate logistic regression models controlling for history of blood transfusion and IDU. Among 3636 women with HCV results, 31.5% were HCV antibody positive (HCV+) including 13.5% with no reported history of IDU or blood transfusions. Multivariate logistic regression analyses stratified on IDU showed that among women with no history of IDU, sex with an IDU male was independently associated with HCV positivity (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8, 95% confidence [CI] = 2.1, 3.8, p < 0.0001) after controlling for blood transfusion, age, HIV infection, unemployment, birth in the United States, history of hepatitis B infection, and current smoking status. Further stratification on HIV status showed that the association was significant only for the HIV+ (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.3, 2.7, p = 0.0007) compared to the HIV− women (OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.4, 2.7) although these odds ratios were not significantly different (p = 0.25). For HIV-positive women with no reported history of IDU, sex with an IDU male was independently associated with HCV suggesting that sexual transmission may be an important mode of HCV transmission for these high-risk women.
Coinfection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) in HIV-infected patients receiving a commonly used nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy is a major concern for African clinicians owing to its high prevalence, the infrequent testing and treatment of viral hepatitis, and the impact of liver disease on the tolerability and effectiveness of anti-HIV treatment. We compared the hepatotoxicity and the immunological, virological and clinical effectiveness of a nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy between patients infected with HIV only and patients coinfected with hepatitis B or C virus in Cameroon.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted among HIV-1-infected patients. Plasma HBV DNA and HCV RNA were tested in positive or indeterminate samples for HBsAg or HCV antibodies, respectively. All patients received nevirapine and lamivudine plus stavudine or zidovudine.
Of 169 HIV-1-infected patients with a median baseline CD4 count of 135 cells/mm3 (interquartile range [IQR] 67-218), 21% were coinfected with HBV or HCV. In coinfected patients, the median viral load was 2.47 × 107 IU/mL for HBV (IQR 3680-1.59 × 108) and 928 000 IU/mL for HCV (IQR 178 400-2.06 × 106). Multivariate analyses showed that the risk of hepatotoxicity was 2-fold higher in coinfected patients (p < 0.01). The response to antiretroviral therapy was however comparable between monoinfected and coinfected patients in terms of CD4 cell count increase (p = 0.8), HIV-1 viral load below 400 copies/mL (p = 0.9), death (p = 0.3) and death or new AIDS-defining event (p = 0.1). Nevirapine was replaced by a protease inhibitor in 4 patients owing to hepatotoxicity.
This study suggests that the nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy could be used safely as first-line treatment in patients with low CD4 cell count in Africa despite frequent coinfections with HBV or HCV and infrequent testing of these infections. Although testing for HBV and HCV should be systematically performed before initiating antiretroviral therapy, transaminases elevations at baseline or during treatment should be a decisive argument for testing when hepatitis status is unknown.
Despite the high frequency of HCV and HIV coinfection, little is known about HCV quasispecies in HIV-positive patients. The current analysis included 236 HIV+/anti-HCV+ women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Hypervariable region 1 of the second envelope gene was analyzed by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP). The relationship between the HCV quasispecies and clinical and demographic features were analyzed in multivariate models. Age over 40 years and high HCV RNA load were the only factors significantly associated with quasispecies complexity, assessed as the number of SSCP bands. High HIV and HCV plasma loads were associated with quasispecies stability over time, as reflected by stable SSCP band patterns. However, women who were actively injecting drugs were 3 times more likely to experience quasispecies changes than their noninjecting counterparts. No affect on HCV quasi-species dynamics was noted in relation to CD4 count or highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Conclusion: among HIV/HCV coinfected patients, HCV quasispecies complexity and dynamics correlate more closely with HIV and HCV plasma loads than with CD4+ cell counts. Active drug use is associated with quasispecies changes probably due to repeated superinfections with new HCV strains. This needs to be considered when planning treatment and prevention strategies for HCV in coinfected individuals.
Dyslipidemia from highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use has been reported to be less severe among persons with HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) compared to those with HIV monoinfection. However, the effect on lipoprotein ratios is less clear. The total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein ratio (TC/HDL-C ratio) is a robust measure of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk but has not been examined in the context of HIV/HCV-coinfected patients. We compared the TC/HDL-C ratio before HAART initiation and after at least 6 months on HAART between patients monoinfected with HIV and coinfected with HIV and HCV. Pre- and post-HAART TC, HDL-C, and non-HDL-C were also assessed. Although TC, HDL-C, and non-HDL-C significantly increased after HAART initiation in both HIV and HIV/HCV patients, the TC/HDL-C ratio did not. In addition, although the pre- and post-HAART TC, HDL-C, non-HDL-C, and TC/HDL-C ratio were significantly different between HIV and HIV/HCV patients, the magnitude in the change from pre- to post-HAART was not significantly different between infection groups. These results persisted after controlling for age, sex, race, current pharmacotherapy for lipoproteins, body mass index, and current CD4 cell count. The magnitude of change in the TC/HDL-C ratio after HAART initiation is not significantly different between HIV and HIV/HCV patients, suggesting subsequent CVD risk in HIV/HCV patients may be greater than currently appreciated.
A better understanding of how human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection affects the course of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is required to select patients with HIV who would benefit from current HCV therapy. Between June 1996 and March 2000, HCV RNA levels were quantified for 1,279 patients at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center; 28 of these patients were coinfected with HIV. HCV loads were quantified by the Bayer branched-DNA assay with a lower limit of detection of 0.2 Meq/ml. We compared the median HCV RNA levels of for patients coinfected with HIV and HCV and patients infected only with HCV who were in the same age range (23 to 55 years). The median HCV load for the 28 patients coinfected with HCV and HIV (17.8 Meq/ml) was significantly greater (P < 0.05) than that for similarly aged patients infected only with HCV (6.1 Meq/ml). The HCV load did not correlate with age or sex for either group of patients. A significant (R = −0.4; P < 0.05) negative correlation was observed between HCV load and CD4 count in the coinfected group, for whom the CD4 counts at the time of HCV load analysis ranged from 6 to 1,773/mm3. The increased HCV load in patients coinfected with HCV and HIV compared to that in patients infected only with HCV and the inverse relationship of the HCV load to the CD4 count indicate that immunosuppression results in decreased control of HCV replication. In addition, we report significantly higher HCV loads among coinfected African Americans than Caucasians.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) challenges the immune system with two viruses that elicit distinct immune responses. Chronic immune activation is a hallmark of HIV infection and an accurate indicator of disease progression. Suppressing HIV viremia by antiretroviral therapy (ART) effectively prolongs life and significantly improves immune function. HIV/HCV coinfected individuals have peripheral immune activation despite effective ART control of HIV viral load. Here we examined freshly isolated CD14 monocytes for gene expression using high-density cDNA microarrays and analyzed T cell subsets, CD4 and CD8, by flow cytometry to characterize immune activation in monoinfected HCV and HIV, and HIV-suppressed coinfected subjects. To determine the impact of coinfection on cognition, subjects were evaluated in 7 domains for neuropsychological performance, which were summarized as a global deficit score (GDS). Monocyte gene expression analysis in HIV-suppressed coinfected subjects identified 43 genes that were elevated greater than 2.5 fold. Correlative analysis of subjects’ GDS and gene expression found eight genes with significance after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Correlative expression of six genes was confirmed by qPCR, five of which were categorized as type 1 IFN response genes. Global deficit scores were not related to plasma lipopolysaccharide levels. In the T cell compartment, coinfection significantly increased expression of activation markers CD38 and HLADR on both CD4 and CD8 T cells but did not correlate with GDS. These findings indicate that coinfection is associated with a type 1 IFN monocyte activation profile which was further found to correlate with cognitive impairment, even in subjects with controlled HIV infection. HIV-suppressed coinfected subjects with controlled HIV viral load experiencing immune activation could benefit significantly from successful anti-HCV therapy and may be considered as preferential candidates.
Immunosuppression from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may impair antibody formation, and false-negative hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV) tests have been reported in individuals coinfected with HIV and HCV. It is unknown if the frequency of false-negative tests is sufficiently high to change screening recommendations in this setting. Thus, the prevalence of false-negative results for anti-HCV by third-generation tests was determined with samples from HIV-infected individuals. Sera from 559 HIV-infected and 944 HIV-negative prospectively followed injection drug users were tested for anti-HCV by a third-generation enzyme immunoassay and for HCV RNA by using a branched DNA assay and the HCV COBAS AMPLICOR system. Of 559 HIV-infected participants, 547 (97.8%) were anti-HCV positive. One of the remaining 12 anti-HCV-negative participants was HCV RNA positive, and she later developed detectable anti-HCV. Of the 944 HIV-negative participants, 825 (87.4%) were anti-HCV positive. One of the remaining 119 anti-HCV-negative participants was HCV RNA positive, and she also developed detectable anti-HCV at a later visit. These data indicate that HIV infection does not alter the approach to hepatitis C virus screening, which should be performed with third-generation assays for anti-HCV unless acute infection is suspected.
Microglial cell activation and cerebral function impairment are described in both chronic hepatitis C viral (HCV) and Human-Immune-Deficiency viral (HIV) infections. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of acute HCV infection upon cerebral function and microglial cell activation in HIV-infected individuals.
A case-control study was conducted. Subjects with acute HCV and chronic HIV coinfection (aHCV) were compared to matched controls with chronic HIV monoinfection (HIVmono). aHCV was defined as a new positive plasma HCV RNA within 12 months of a negative RNA test. Subjects underwent neuro-cognitive testing (NCT), cerebral proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) and positron emission tomography (PET) using a 11C-radiolabeled ligand (PK11195), which is highly specific for translocator protein 18 kDA receptors on activated microglial cells. Differences between cases and controls were assessed using linear regression modelling.
Twenty-four aHCV cases completed NCT and 1H-MRS, 8 underwent PET. Of 57 HIVmono controls completing NCT, 12 underwent 1H-MRS and 8 PET. Subjects with aHCV demonstrated on NCT, significantly poorer executive function (mean (SD) error rate 26.50(17.87) versus 19.09(8.12), p = 0.001) and on 1H-MRS increased myo-inositol/creatine ratios (mI/Cr, a marker of cerebral inflammation) in the basal ganglia (ratio of 0.71(0.22) versus 0.55(0.23), p = 0.03), compared to subjects with HIVmono. On PET imaging, no difference in 11C-PK11195 binding potential (BP) was observed between study groups (p>0.10 all cerebral locations), however lower BPs were associated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) use in the parietal (p = 0.01) and frontal (p = 0.03) cerebral locations.
Poorer cognitive performance and disturbance of cerebral metabolites are observed in subjects with aHC,V compared to subjects with HIVmono. Higher 11C-PK11195 BP was not observed in subjects with aHCV, but was observed in subjects not on cART.
Coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is common among HIV-infected women.
To further our understanding of the risk factors for HCV viremia and the predictors of HCV viral load among women.
We investigated sociodemographic, immunologic, and virologic factors associated with presence and level of HCV viremia among 882 HIV-infected and 167 HIV-uninfected HCV-seropositive women at entry into the Women's Interagency HIV Study.
Plasma HCV RNA was detected in 852 (81%) of these 1,049 women (range: 1.2–7.8 log10 copies/ml). HCV-viremic women were more likely to have an HIV RNA level >100,000 copies/ml (P =0.0004), have reported smoking (P =0.01), or to be Black (P =0.005). They were less likely to have current or resolved hepatitis B infection. HCV RNA levels were higher in women who were >35 years old, or HIV-infected. Current smoking and history of drug use (crack/freebase cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, or heroin) were each associated with both presence and level of viremia.
Substance abuse counseling aimed at eliminating ongoing use of illicit drugs and tobacco may reduce clinical progression, improve response to treatment, and decrease HCV transmission by lowering levels of HCV viremia in women.
Hepatitis C; Hepatitis C RNA levels; Hepatitis C viremia; HIV/hepatitis C virus coinfection
Treatment guidelines recommend all HIV/HCV-co-infected persons be considered for hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, yet obstacles to testing and accessing treatment for HCV continue for women.
To assess awareness of HCV, and describe diagnostic referrals and HCV treatment among women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
Prospective epidemiologic cohort.
Of 3,768 HIV-infected and uninfected women in WIHS, 1,166 (31%) were HCV antibody positive.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Awareness of HCV infection and probability of referrals for diagnostic evaluations and treatment using logistic regression. Follow-up HCV information was available for 681 (390 died, 15 withdrew, 80 missed visit) in 2004. Of these 681, 522 (76.7%) reported knowing their HCV diagnosis. Of these, 247 of 522 (47.3%) stated their providers recommended a liver biopsy, whereas 139 of 247 or 56.3% reported having a liver biopsy. A total of 170 of 522 (32.6%) reported being offered treatment and 74.1% (n = 126 of 170) reported receiving HCV treatment. In multivariate regression analyses, African-American race, Hispanic/Latina ethnicity, poverty, and current crack/cocaine/heroin use were negatively associated with treatment referrals, whereas elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was associated with increased likelihood of referral and increased likelihood of treatment.
One quarter of women with HCV in this cohort were not aware of their diagnosis. Among those aware of their HCV, 1 in 4 received liver biopsy and treatment for HCV. Both provider and patient education interventions regarding HCV testing and HCV treatment options and guidelines are needed to enhance HCV awareness and participation in HCV evaluation and treatment.
women; hepatitis C; HIV; race; drug use; therapy